A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine and led by San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health associate research professor John W. Ayers delved into Americans’ Internet search history in the days after the series 13 Reasons Why aired. He found that queries about suicide and how to commit suicide spiked in the show’s wake. Read more ›
News related to: research
A new report, How Minecraft Supports Social and Emotional Learning in K–12 Education, published by Getting Smart, investigates the connection between classroom use of Minecraft (described as a virtual land where users can create their own worlds and experiences, using building blocks, resources discovered on the site and their own creativity) and the SEL outcomes of K– 12 students. Read more ›
Each year, more than 45,000 people die by suicide and in the past 15 years, the suicide mortality rate has risen by an alarming 24%. A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examines how illness plays a role in suicide risk. Researchers found that 17 physical health conditions, ailments such as back pain, diabetes, and heart disease, were associated with an increased risk of suicide. Two of the conditions — sleep disorders and HIV/AIDS — represented a greater than twofold increase, while traumatic brain injury made individuals nine times more likely to die by suicide. Read more ›
Imaging Pinpoints Brain Circuits Changed by PTSD Therapy – Findings Can Help Target Treatment, Predict Outcomes
A pair of studies led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine demonstrates that scientists can predict, with a high degree of accuracy, which patients with post-traumatic stress disorder will respond to a method of psychotherapy often used to treat the condition.
Using brain imaging to track the effects of treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), researchers have identified a brain circuit on which a frequently used and effective psychotherapy (prolonged exposure) acts to quell symptoms. The findings help explain why the neural circuit identified is a promising target for additional treatment development, including brain stimulation therapies. Read more ›
The suicide rate among teenage girls continues to rise and hit a 40-year high in 2015, according to a new analysis released Thursday.
Suicide rates doubled among girls and rose by more than 30 percent among teen boys and young men between 2007 and 2015, the updated breakdown from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds. Read more ›
The use of medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder is linked to significantly lower risk for substance use problems in adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to a study led by researchers at Indiana University.
The risk of substance use problems during periods of medication use was 35 percent lower in men and 31 percent lower in women in the study. The results, based upon nearly 3 million people with ADHD in the United States, are reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
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“Kind Communities – A Bridge to Youth Mental Wellness” was released today by the Born This Way Foundation, which was founded by Lady Gaga in 2012 to assist young people in achieving mental and emotional well-being.
The survey cataloged a number of different issues as reported by 3,015 young people between the ages of 15 and 24, as well as 1,004 parents in an online survey, including how students view their own mental health —including how they strive to alleviate mental health issues — Read more ›
When researchers in the UK exposed depressed adolescents to happy or sad words and imaged their brains, they found that depression has different effects on the brain activity of male and female patients in certain brain regions. The findings suggest that adolescent girls and boys might experience depression differently and that sex-specific treatments could be beneficial for adolescents.
By 15 years of age, girls are twice as likely to suffer from depression as boys. There are various possible reasons for this, including body image issues, hormonal fluctuations and genetic factors, where girls are more at risk of inheriting depression. However, differences between the sexes don’t just involve the risk of experiencing depression, but also how the disorder manifests and its consequences. Read more ›
Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have found a link between food allergies and an increase in childhood anxiety.
The study, by researchers at Columbia University in collaboration with Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, included 80 pediatric patients age 4 to 12 with and without diagnosed food allergies and their caregivers from urban pediatric outpatient clinics in the Bronx. Read more ›
Hand-held screens might delay a child’s ability to form words, based on new research.
Principal researcher Catherine Birken, a pediatrician and scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, gathered her data from well-child visits, the regular checkups that assess a child’s growth, health and development. From 2011 to 2015, she asked the parents of to estimate how much time their children spent each day with hand-held screens, like smartphones, tablets and electronic games. Meanwhile, Birken and her team assessed each child with the Infant Toddler Checklist — a screening tool that looks for signs of delayed communication development. Read more ›
The percentage of younger children and teens hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or actions in the United States doubled over nearly a decade, according to new research.
A steady increase in admissions due to suicidality and serious self-harm occurred at 32 children’s hospitals across the nation from 2008 through 2015, the researchers found. The children studied were between the ages of 5 and 17, and although all age groups showed increases, the largest uptick was seen among teen girls. Read more ›
Despite having the strongest academic support from parents, teachers, and friends, second-generation Asian American adolescents benefit much less from these supports than others, finds a study by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
New research finds that adults on the autism spectrum are using their special interests to engage in specific fields of study and determine career paths.
Investigators believe the findings continue a shift away from perceiving strong interests as a negative and toward a perspective that recognizes the strengths and potential of these personal pursuits.
Researchers from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development published their findings in the journal Occupational Therapy in Mental Health. Read more ›
Researchers say they can predict whether some infants under the age of 1 will actually develop autism in their second year.
The new experimental technique, using standard brain screening, is designed to focus solely on newborns known to be at high risk for autism because they have an older sibling who has it. Read more ›
Watching television for more than a couple of hours a day is linked to lower school readiness skills in kindergartners, particularly among children from low-income families, finds a study by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and Université Sainte-Anne. Read more ›
Autism is two to five times more common in men than women, according to background notes in the study. Previous studies have suggested that the biology of men might put them at higher risk for the disorder than women. Read more ›
While many people are familiar with therapeutic pets and how they can help lift up people’s spirits, bringing them into the classroom might sound far-fetched. How can a therapy pet possibly teach children the life lessons of kindness and empathy? Can a pet really alter the way that students feel about learning? Read more ›
The most popular PG-13 movies now depict more acts of gun violence than R-rated films, a new look at the U.S. motion picture landscape reveals.
This new analysis updates an earlier 2012 investigation, which found that gun violence in the nation’s top-grossing PG-13 films more than doubled between 1985 and 2012. By then, gun violence had begun to exceed that found in R-rated films.
Since 2012, the prevalence of gun violence in PG-13 movies — albeit less bloody and more cartoon-like than R-rated movies — held steady through 2015. Read more ›
Children with serious behavioral disorders might fare better at school if they get some exercise during the day, a new study suggests.
The researchers focused on children and teenagers with conditions that included autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression.
The study was conducted at a therapeutic day school affiliated with Harvard Medical School. The school enrolls ∼110 children each year in kindergarten through 10th grade with diagnosed BHD, many of whom have learning disabilities, but does not serve children with intellectual disabilities. They looked at whether structured exercise during the school day — in the form of stationary “cybercycles”— could help ease students’ behavioral issues in the classroom. Read more ›
Offering students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder extended testing time or frequent breaks does not appear to help them perform better on a standardized test than other students with ADHD who do not get such accommodations, says a new study published in Learning Disabilities, a Multidisciplinary Journal.
In the study Academic Testing Accommodations for ADHD: Do They Help? researchers examined the accommodations and test results of 96 Maryland students with ADHD in grades 3-8. Read more ›
Cell phones, tablets and computers are keeping children and teenagers awake at night—even when they’re not being used, new research has found.
The paper, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that media devices are contributing to reduced sleep quality and quantity, as well as trouble staying awake the next day. According to the study, 72% of all children and 89% of adolescents have at least one device in their sleep environment, with most of them used near bedtime. Read more ›
Several anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias, share a common underlying trait: increased sensitivity to uncertain threat, or fear of the unknown, report researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The finding could help steer treatment of these disorders away from diagnosis-based therapies to treating their common characteristics. Read more ›
In a new study, Carnegie Mellon University and Facebook researchers determined passive readings or posts or one-click feedback such as “likes” did not influence well-being. However, frequent and substantive comments from friends did improve emotional perceptions.
Investigators determined 60 comments from close friends in a month were associated with increases in users’ psychological well-being as large as those associated with major life events. Read more ›
Exercise may be an effective treatment for depression and might even help prevent us from becoming depressed in the first place, according to three timely new studies. The studies pool outcomes from past research involving more than a million men and women and, taken together, strongly suggest that regular exercise alters our bodies and brains in ways that make us resistant to despair.
Scientists have long questioned whether and how physical activity affects mental health. While we know that exercise alters the body, how physical activity affects moods and emotions is less well understood.
Past studies have sometimes muddied rather than clarified the body and mind connections. Some randomized controlled trials have found that exercise programs, often involving walking, ease symptoms in people with major depression. But many of these studies have been relatively small in scale or had other scientific deficiencies.
Screening results are often used to recommend school services as well as potential medications. In 18 questions, the screener known as the ADHD Rating Scale Fourth Edition (ADHD-RS-IV) asks parents and teachers to numerically rate a child’s behaviors. Half of the questions are focused on inattention, the other half on hyperactivity.
Teachers and parents who use the screening tool may mistake autism-related social impairments for attention problems, according to the study. Read more ›
UCSB Researchers Study the Effectiveness of an Innovative Program Designed to Help Youth Learn About Mental Health
Mental Health Matters, a program of the Mental Wellness Center, is in place in 35 classrooms in schools in Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito and Buellton, helping 11- and 12-year-old children learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of six major mental illnesses: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and stress disorders, major depression, bipolar disorders, eating disorders and schizophrenia.
Mental Health Matters is an innovative curricular unit designed for students approaching or in adolescence whereby they are taught basic facts about mental wellness. Two formats are available: one for sixth graders and one for ninth graders. Students learn to recognize symptoms of mental health disorders and that treatment is available. A secondary objective is to directly address the stigma too often associated with mental illness. The goal is to increase the students’ understanding of mental illness, reduce the associated stigma and share wellness practices.
But, does program actually work? Read more ›
Many children with autism struggle to form friendships, in part because they have difficulty with social skills such as recognizing facial expressions. A research team at the Stanford School of Medicine is using Google Glass to help.
As KQED’s “Future of You” blog recently explained, a group of scientists at the Autism Glass Project, led by Dennis Wall PhD, have built facial-recognition software for Google Glass to help children distinguish between seven different types of facial expressions. Wall’s pilot study, in which kids with autism used Google Glass to help identify expressions in images shown on a computer screen, gave promising results. In the next phase of the research, which is still looking for volunteers, the team is testing whether Google Glass helps kids recognize others’ emotions during real-world interactions. Read more ›
New research provides some of the first evidence that medications taken by millions of American children to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) offer long-term benefits.
Based on an analysis of Medicaid claims for nearly 150,000 children diagnosed with ADHD in South Carolina between 2003 and 2013, researchers including Princeton University postdoctoral associate Anna Chorniy found treatment with ADHD medication made children less likely to suffer consequences of risky behaviors such as sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse during their teen years and injuries.
A Kaiser Permanente study found that the risk of younger siblings developing an autism spectrum disorder is 14 times higher if an older sibling has ASD. The study, which was published in Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, also found the risk level was consistent across gestational age at birth.
The study included Kaiser Permanente members in Southern California and focused on at least two siblings born to the same mother between 28 and 42 weeks of gestation from 2001 through 2010. Researchers examined the medical records of the 53,336 children born during this time, of which 592 were diagnosed with ASD. They found that: Read more ›
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience have identified an inner ear deficiency in children with Autism that may impact their ability to recognize speech. The findings, which were published in the journal Autism Research, could ultimately be used as a way to identify children at risk for the disorder at an early age. Read more ›
Many pediatricians remain ill-equipped to identify and support kids with the developmental disorder, but a new approach may help. New research suggests that a series of two-hour videoconferencing sessions may be enough to significantly boost the capability of working pediatricians to better treat those on the spectrum.
Through a program called ECHO Autism, researchers at the University of Missouri evaluated whether practicing pediatricians could be trained to screen for and treat autism in a series of remote training sessions. Read more ›
In a potential crisis crossing demographic lines, one-third of California’s 11th-graders and one-quarter of seventh-graders reported feeling chronically sad or hopeless over the past 12 months, a survey released on July 18 showed.
Among the questions, students were asked if they felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more that it stopped them from doing usual activities — symptoms of depression. Their answers, compared with the previous survey two years ago, represented a 1 percentage-point increase for ninth-graders, and less than a percentage point increase for seventh and 11th-graders.
Despite how common they are, anxiety disorders continue to be belittled as mere worrying instead of debilitating, disabling conditions that require treatment.
While a little bit of anxiety can be beneficial by helping us keep safe, people with untreated anxiety disorders experience overwhelming, uncontrollable feelings of dread or fear that can interfere with daily life and prevent them from doing the things they want to do. Learning more about these conditions is one way to help combat mental health stigma and get help to the people who need it.
Olivia Remes, lead author of the analysis and an anxiety researcher at the University of Cambridge, reviewed 48 of the best or most comprehensive studies on anxiety prevalence around the world and was able to pinpoint which cultures, genders and age groups are most likely to be affected. Read more ›
Children from impoverished families are more prone to mental illness, and alterations in DNA structure could be to blame, according to a study published on 24 May in Molecular Psychiatry.
Poverty brings with it a number of different stressors, such as poor nutrition, increased prevalence of smoking and the general struggle of trying to get by. All of these can affect a child’s development, particularly in the brain, where the structure of areas involved in response to stress and decision-making have been linked to low socioeconomic status. Read more ›
Stunning increases in U.S. suicide rates for all ages gripped headlines today as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data on the subject.
Overlooked in many stories: While the numbers of suicides for children remain low compared to other populations, girls aged 10-14 had the highest growth in suicide rates of any group between 1999 and 2014, the most recent year reported in federal data. In that time, the rate of suicides for girls in that age group tripled, growing from 0.5 per 100,000 people to 1.5 per 100,000 people. Read more ›
New research hints that social robots may be the key to helping autistic students develop stronger social skills.
Social robot developer RoboKind recently released preliminary research results regarding Milo and Robots4Autism that indicate children affected Autism Spectrum Disorders are more engaged in autism therapy when interacting with social robots than with other people. Read more ›
New research suggests the way a parent responds to their children’s emotional displays can influence the amount of food they provide to the child and also trigger binge eating by the parent.
The study of more than 440 parents and their preschoolers offers insight into why some parents who binge eat also may try to restrict their children’s food intake, placing their children at higher risk for unhealthy eating habits and weight problems. Read more ›
Over the past few decades, cognitive scientists have found that small alterations in how people study can accelerate and deepen learning, improving retention and comprehension in a range of subjects, including math, science and foreign languages.
Now, two new studies explore the effectiveness of one common cognitive science technique — the so-called testing effect — for people with attention-deficit problems, one of the most commonly diagnosed learning disabilities. Read more ›
In a new study, researchers reveal how brain scans could be used to identify children at high risk for later-life depression – information that could pave the way for early intervention and prevention.
Study coauthor John Gabrieli, the Grover M. Hermann professor in health sciences and technology and a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and colleagues publish their findings in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Read more ›